Health Diary Week 24: Food, Exercise and a Positive Mind

Fat and Sugar Tastes too Good!

Image: Hassan Monteleone, Pixabay

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Hi and welcome to another weekly instalment of what’s on my plate, health and nutrition updates and some positive smile-provoking experiences…

So, to start, I must confess I had a few indulgences this week. I could pretend I regret it, but I don’t, except the excessive wine intake – more on that later.

Weight, BMI and Fat Results

My weight stayed at 164 lb (74.4 kg) throughout the week but, jumped up to 165.8 lb (75.2 kg) especially for Monday! But, I’m not too disheartened, partly because I was bloated at weigh-in and despite the gain my graph shows an overall downward trend:

My weight progression showing a downward trend – Week 0 to 24.

It was also my body measurements week. This gives a helpful indication about my progression. Waist circumference importantly indicates abdominal fat, with an excess linked to chronic conditions like heart disease and type 2 diabetes[1]. Unfortunately, I’m still ‘substantially at risk’ of these diseases[2], but I’m moving in the right direction having lost 4 cm around my waist in the past 8 weeks – a total of 7 cm since this journey began. Also, I’ve also lost a total of 9 cm from my thigh, 7 cm around my chest and 5 cm from my calf.

I’m still considered an ‘apple’, but I’m working towards a ‘pear’ (Image: Shutterbug75, Pixabay).

Food and Nutrition

As per usual, I analysed my weight and fat gain… My appetite was greater this week (potentially as I’m feeling better), so I snacked more. But I think a major culprit was excessive saturated fat in the guise of coconut-based cheese – including cauliflower and broccoli bake (twice) and a cheesy garlic pitta. I also consumed a tub of coleslaw (high total fat) throughout the week with my My Typical Salad or filled pitta lunches:

Potential pitfalls: Top: Cauliflower & broccoli cheese bake. Middle right: Cheesy, garlic pitta with M&S veg spring rolls. Middle left & bottom: M&S vegan coleslaw.

These meals were still nutritious and fibre-loaded, it’s just that overall, there was an excess of fat this week, so I’ll reduce fat (or at least try) for the coming week. Other lower fat meals included plant-based fajitas, Risotto, curry and pasta:

Lower saturated fat meals: Clockwise: Red lentil pasta with spinach, tomato & black olives drizzled extra virgin olive oil & hot chilli sauce. Mushroom & pepper fajitas with lettuce, salsa & avocado. Aubergine, potato & spinach curry & lentil dhal with brown rice. Aubergine, potato & spinach curry with brown rice.

Also, this week I had a few high fat and sugar chocolate indulgences, including a Nak’d double chocolish bar, hot cacao drink (made from Raw Chocolate Co cacao) and a Mummy Meagz cream egg (as a household we agreed to break into the Easter egg stash; we still have three each left):

Chocolate indulgences: Clockwise: Nakd double chocolish bar. Hot cacao drink (favourite mug made by the talented Deb). Mummy Meagz crème egg.

Exercise

I’ve not really started exercising again yet (due to ongoing discomfort down my back and around my ribs following a virus) except being compelled to join the brief sessions with Mr Motivator on the BBC HealthCheck UK Live weekday programme, because he makes me laugh – a good stress-reliever:

My Motivator on BBC HealthCheck UK (BBC screenshot).

Positive Thinking: What Made Watson Smile

Clap for Carers:
On Thursday we were back outside for ‘Clap for Carers’. We ventured off our driveway (still physically distanced) so that we could see our neighbours further down the road and wave to them – it was great to see them.

Online Socialising:
Also, I’m loving online socialising and highly recommend it. Friday night was so much fun with an online ‘Houseparty’. I should confess here that the excitement of socialising led to my other major downfall. I broke my  26 days ‘dry’ streak –  I opened and then unintentionally finished a bottle of Stellar Organic Merlot, adding around 675 calories[3] to my daily intake. I further paid for my indulgence with a thumping headache and lack of productivity on Saturday. Next time I’ll drink more sensibly – promise!:

‘Houseparty’ with some friends: Top left: Stellar Organics no sulphite-added Merlot. Top right: Me ready to meet my friends online. Bottom: The ‘meet-up’ well under way.

Future Learn Course:
On Sunday I completed week two of the free Future Learn online course run by London School of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene – one more week to complete and then I’ll see what else is on offer – hopefully something nutrition-related. Future Learn covers diverse subjects taught by universities, including arts, business, engineering, environment, healthcare, history, IT, languages, law, literature, maths, politics, psychology and mental health, science, study skills and teaching.

Top: My Week 2 completion of COVID-19 course. Bottom: Future Learn subject areas (plus study skills & teaching that didn’t fit onto the screenshot).

Garden Time:
The weekend weather was lovely, so I took the opportunity to spend some time chilling in the garden – I haven’t been out- and-about for over three weeks – after quarantining we decided outside public spaces should primarily be for those without the luxury of private garden space. So, here’s what I’ve seen from my home confines this week:

The flowering rockery
Gorgeous purple flower
Okay, I know it’s a ‘weed’, but it’s still a beautifully vibrant yellow
Blossoming garden tree (admittedly not great for my hay fever) & blue sky

Heron:
The highlight was watching a heron from my bedroom window! – it visited a few times:

That’s my news for what’s on my plate this week. I hope you’ve all kept well and safe.

I hope you enjoyed this week’s ‘What’s on Watson’s Plate’. Please feel free to follow my bite-sized updates on Instagram or Facebook. See you next Wednesday for another catch up.

Week 25>>>
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References

1. National Health Service, 2019. Why is my waist size important? [online]. Available from: www.nhs.uk/common-health-questions/lifestyle/why-is-my-waist-size-important/.
2. World Health Organisation, 2011. Waist Circumference and Waist-Hip Ratio Report of a WHO Expert Consultation. Geneva, 8–11 December 2008 [online]. Available from: https://apps.who.int/iris/bitstream/handle/10665/44583/9789241501491_eng.pdf;sequence=1.
3. Alcohol Change UK, Ca. 2019. Alcohol and calories [online]. Available from: https://alcoholchange.org.uk/alcohol-facts/fact-sheets/alcohol-and-calories.

More from What’s on Watson’s Plate:

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